Central Alberta is becoming a hotbed of political attention this week. Yesterday, Green Party Deputy Leader Edwin Erickson released a statement declaring his departure from the Greens to help build the Alberta Progress Party. In 2008, Erickson was the Green candidate in the central Alberta riding of Drayton Valley-Calmar, where he placed second with 19% of the vote against PC MLA Diana McQueen. Erickson will be on CBC Edmonton’s Radioactive (740AM) at 4:10pm today explaining his move. (h/t AGRDT)
This weekend, the Alberta NDP will be holding a revitalization conference in the central Alberta city of Red Deer. Though “revitalization” may not be the most accurate description, as it’s probably a stretch to say that the NDP have ever actually been ‘vitalized‘ in central Alberta, it does show an understanding of something the Federal Liberals are missing.
It’s unlikely the NDP will be electing swaths of MLAs and MPs in rural Alberta anytime soon, but in the short-term, this is a clear strategy for any party wanting to build a base and increase the funds it receives through the federal campaign finance system (even if this strategy only increases the NDP vote by 1,000 votes in every riding in rural Alberta, it would still be a worthwhile investment of resources for that party). The NDP haven’t elected an MLA in rural Alberta since 1989.